Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas festivities

I love this picture that reminds me of the feeling of being surrounded by those I love. Thanks to all who made our Christmas so special!
Josiah in his prized Polamolu (am I even spelling that right?) jersey...clutching his Boise Broncos shirt and ball (and wearing the hat!)...priceless picture that summarizes his gift interests this year.
Maddie had twins! She's a really great mom and relishes her newfound authority in all the issues twins entail. She promptly named them "Ella" and "Ellen"...but later switched to "Ella" & "Gina."
Josiah and Cole with their b-b guns in the backyard. A classic coming of age Christmas moment.
Nana at "the" Taste of Home visitor's center. It was so exciting to take her there as she really loves their publications and is a superb cook. Any of you that have gotten recipes from me...chances are, they're from my mother-in-law!

Nobody reads stories like Nana!
A long-awaited moment...cousins sleeping out together under the Christmas tree!
A prettier pair of princesses you just won't find. Their evident love for each other in this picture is exactly how they are in real life. I just love watching them together. One time Jeff was painting (back in PA) and had Becca with him on a job. He called me asking if Becca could talk with Maddie a few minutes because she was losing interest and he was closing in on finish. They talked for 45 minutes!! About the most mundane details...the color of their fancy dresses, fancy shoes, the color of the walls of the rooms they happened to be standing in, and on and on and on. One of those conversations we will be telling them about for years to come I suspect.
Beautiful Aunt Krys with sweet twins Grant and Graham. They look so festive in their red shirts together. This trip, Grant was definitely the most social (but both of them easily make up to you). Our funniest story was how they both loved Gramps' cashews. They would find his can at all hours of the day and come up to him with a little shake of the can and a little grunt that they knew Gramps could never deny them. I think they cleaned out the whole can between the 3 of them!
Jeff celebrated a b-day at our house. What a treat to share it with him.
The gals escaped on Saturday to head to our favorite tea-room in Antioch (thanks Katie & Matt, we used your gift cert.!) and really enjoyed the ambience together.

  • Christmas dinner....we look like such a small crowd minus the kiddos. Early Christmas morning, we shared presents with both my sisters and mom who drove up from Chicago. It was really magnificent to have both sides (at least in part) of our family together. Our hearts are really full...and I know that sounds trite and cliched...but there's no other way to say it. We've been richly loved and blessed by the heritage we come from....and we are so blessed to be able to have the gift of loving all our family in return. That reality was so real and felt in our hearts this Christmas.
  • I did not have a digital camera that was working this Christmas, but was able to lift pics from Nana & Gramps camera before they left. So, I do not have pictures of my family that was here for Christmas or of the day we all went into Chicago to the Children's museum (batteries died that day). It was interesting to just enjoy the moments without concentrating so much on how to capture them on camera. I think there's a real lesson in there for me to truly live the moments, not just "preserve" them. This morning a friend was telling me about driving up the street in our town only to look up and see the moon gigantic as it rose. She said her first thought was to look and see if she had her camera or phone to take a picture, upon realizing she did not quickly came to the conclusion that a camera could not even come close to catching the majestic quality of the moon at that moment. I think parenthood/family is like the moon...sometimes such a part of our life we take this incredible gift and take it as commonplace...or we carefully preserve pictures, maybe even diaries, when in reality these moments are indefinable yet totally livable. There is something in these relations, these connections that has written in their very core who we are, who we are meant to be, and what we are created for. Oh sure, we botch things up all the time, we live very imperfectly...but the whispers of a deep longing, of a fulfillment and a calling onward, outward and upward is nontheless there.
  • Enough run-on sentences...but enough to say I am grateful and at rest as 2009 has quietly swept us into it's presence.


Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, my friend! Loved the happy Christmas pics as well. Blessings and love to you all in this New Year!

Anonymous said...

Awesome pics and what fun memories you must have. Wish that we lived closer to you! Love you all!

julie f said...

I've been waiting and they were so worth the wait! I'm so glad you had a delightful time together! (And, I must say that the camera was a real hit...i think they loved it!)

I loved and totally agreed with what you had to say about living in the moment...I did not take any pictures of our Christmas morning...just wanted to soak it all in and not worry about a thing. As much as I love photos, I loved the feeling of watching them through my eyes and not the lense of the camera.

Love to you all 6...we miss you!

The Gurnee's said...

I love the b-b gun pic!! There is just something about a gun that just brings out the masculinity in boys!! LOL.


Kimberly said...

So happy you blogged! and that your holidays went so sweetly. i get what you mean about taking a time out from the camera...and about our "cores" being impacted by our roots. I think (not researchable) it somehow seeps into our DNA. We are so blessed, and it is so important to remember that. Love to All!
(even the new twins!:)

Cara said...


Loved the pics! Cam is reading your blog over my shoulder and he was very excite to see Cole and Si's new bb guns! And all the football stuff!

I'm so glad you had a wonderful Christmas--and you are so right about the camera. Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts.

kayla said...

Congratulations on the twins, grandma.
Ethan also got a BB gun this year. Boy could they have some fun together.
I really enjoyed seeing your pics.

SheilaDy said...

Nice blog, Jenny! And I really enjoyed the pictures of that special Tea Room! I loved that place!!! I had the best peach tea ever there!

David and Sarah Fry said...

Loved your pictures - and your words!

Kimberly said...

rereading this tonight with tears, Jenny....and thinking of you♥...